First Baptist Church of Glenarden is a Bible-teaching church with over a century of rich history. Through the years, God has allowed our ministry to make a positive impact on the community and the world.
In 1917, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Warren planted a seed: a humble, at-home Bible study. Fast forward 100 years, and that kernel of faith has grown to become the internationally renowned First Baptist Church of Glenarden. FBCG now encompasses thousands of members, several buildings and more than 100 ministries. Here’s the story:
When the Warrens’ house became too small, the Bible study group constructed a small building on donated land. Receiving its name from the Baptist Ministers Conference in the early 1920s, FBCG grew into its first edifice at 3311 Brightseat Road.
Organized to serve the flourishing middle-class community, the small church became a staple in Glenarden, which in 1939 became Maryland’s third predominantly black incorporated town. Isaac Patterson was FBCG’s first pastor, followed by Louis Hall, S.A. Davenport, Ralph Johnson Sr. and Thomas Houston. These men paved the way and led the church during its first 30 years.
In 1956, Reverend Dr. John W. Johnson became pastor and served for 33 years. His humble nature and passion for the Word drew parishioners. By 1959, the church had 73 members and was growing. During the Civil and Women’s Rights movements, he took steps to bring equality to the church by licensing young ministers and certifying women evangelists, equipping those under his tutelage “to prepare for the souls yet to come.”
With a growing congregation, FBCG’s small facility was condemned in the early 1970s, leading to a groundbreaking on Sept. 14, 1971. The new church could accommodate 200-250 people and it opened Dec. 10, 1972. FBCG quickly paid off its mortgage, offering financial aid to college students and becoming a strong resource in the community. Shortly after the mortgage burning, the Lord called Reverend Johnson home, leading FBCG to its seventh pastor, Reverend John K. Jenkins Sr.
Pastor Jenkins’ first Sunday sermon was in December 1988 and he was installed Jan. 14, 1990. Membership grew from 500 to thousands. FBCG purchased an old Hechinger building on 13 acres that became the 105,000-square-foot Ministry Center. Also, in 1996, FBCG founded SHABACH! Ministries, Inc., its community service arm. In 2007, FBCG moved to the Worship Center, a 205-square-foot facility on 160 acres. Both the Ministry and Worship centers have 44 classrooms each.
First Baptist adds a 53,000-square-foot Empowerment Center and a 63,000-square-foot Family Life Center. Worship services and special events are viewed online in more than 20 countries. With dozens of classes through its Bible Institutes, ministry programs and a partnership with Denver Seminary, FBCG provides spiritual growth and develops “dynamic disciples.” May the Lord continue to favor this house as we move forward in His glory!
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 1
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 2
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 3
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 4
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 5
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 6
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 7
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 8
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 9
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 10
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 11
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 12
100th Anniversary Series – Episode 13